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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Embracing Developmental Diversity: Developmentally Aware Teaching, Mentoring, and Sustainability Education
by Lynam, Abigail, Ph.D., Prescott College, 2014, 340; 3629433
Abstract (Summary)

This research examined the personal, professional, and developmental impact of introducing a constructive developmental perspective to faculty and students in a post-secondary program in sustainability education and leadership development. It also explored the relationship between adult development and sustainability education, teaching, and mentorship. There is increasing emphasis on integrating human interiors (values, beliefs, worldviews) in sustainability work. However, little research has examined the relationship between adult development and sustainability education. The purpose of this research was to explore deepening the transformative nature of learning and leadership development in graduate education through the use of a developmental framework and assessment, and to contribute to advancing the application of adult developmental research to adult learning and sustainability education. The site of study was Prescott College, and the sample of 11 included four Ph.D. faculty and seven students. This mixed-methods study included semi-structured interviews, a five-month action inquiry process, and a pre and post developmental assessment. The findings demonstrate that sustainability is significantly different for individuals assessed at different developmental stages; learning about adult development is transformative developmentally, personally, and professionally; a developmental awareness may deepen the transformative impact of graduate sustainability education and leadership development; and teaching about adult development is more effective when it is developmentally responsive. Integrating a developmental awareness into graduate and sustainability education is recommended to support learning and growth at all stages of development, support the development of the educators themselves, and support skill development for working well with diverse groups.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Medrick, Rick
Commitee: Davis, Nancy, O'Fallon, Terri, Wallis, Nancy
School: Prescott College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental education, Educational leadership, Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Adult development, Adult learning, Sustainability education, Sustainability leadership, Transformative learning, Worldviews
Publication Number: 3629433
ISBN: 978-1-321-06322-6
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